There are an estimated 1 million Americans living with Parkinson disease (PD), and doctors give a new diagnosis every nine minutes. Nebraska has the highest prevalence of PD per capita in the world. Parkinson disease can cause difficulty with walking, balance, stability, speech, vision, handwriting, muscle stiffness, voice quality, swallowing and eating.
The Columbus Community Hospital Foundation and our Rehab Services department sponsor a program for those who struggle with any element of this disease. We want to improve their quality of life by increasing their independence and enhancing their function through unique exercises specifically designed for them.
In early 2021, 19 of our CCH physical and occupational therapists and assistants received PWR!Moves certification. They were able to achieve this because of funds donated to the CCH Foundation for Parkinson’s rehabilitation and wellness programming at the hospital. PWR!Moves is a Parkinson-specific training program to maintain or restore skills that deteriorate and interfere with everyday movements.
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Rock Steady Boxing®
Who would have thought that by lacing up a pair of boxing gloves, you could improve the balance, tremors and stability that Parkinson’s patients struggle with each day? The Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) program provides intense, non-contact exercise, building strength, flexibility and speed. Studies have shown that this type of exercise may be neuro-protective — actually slowing the disease progression. Boxing is a diverse form of training and can also be an incredible stress reliever and confidence booster. Our RSB class at the Wellness Center has also become a supportive network for its boxers and coaches.
Loud Crowd® and Speak Out®
Have you or your loved ones noticed that your voice is getting softer or your speech volume is not what it used to be? The Loud Crowd and Speak Out programs assist with voice quality and swallowing function for individuals with PD. Our certified therapists have seen dramatic improvement in those patients who attend therapy and follow through on their own at home, including our once-a-week voice exercise group — the Loud Crowd at the Wellness Center. When our therapists see the sparkle come back in our patients’ eyes as their voice improves, it is truly amazing. Patients, families and their therapists are greatly encouraged that these innovative approaches to PD treatment offer better outcomes than conventional therapy.
Rehab Services at the Wellness Center
Our Rehab Services department also offers treatment options for people with PD, including driver rehabilitation, urinary incontinence, visual rehabilitation, hand therapy, Interactive Metronome (IM) therapy, home safety assessments, and wheelchair and power-mobility device evaluations.
Parkinson disease does not have to halt you in your tracks. There are support groups and programs right here in Columbus that will help you get started, make progress and continue with your life in a positive way. The Columbus Area Parkinson’s Wellness Group meets the second Thursday of the month in a first-floor CCH conference room. Receiving emotional support, encouragement and learning from others who are living with PD is vital for both the patient and their caregiver. To visit, share and connect with others in the same situation is priceless.
Fortunately, the CCH Foundation has received generous donations to keep these PD programs thriving, growing and evolving. If you would like to donate to any of these programs or learn more about the programs that the CCH Foundation supports, please contact us at 402-562-3377 or visit us on our website, columbushosp.org.
If you would like more information regarding Parkinson disease, please contact Rehab Services at the Wellness Center at 402-562-3333 or visit us on our website.
Whatever you or your loved ones are facing, we are here for you.
Cori Fullner is the executive director of the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation.